These boots were made for workin’, but these shoelaces were definitely not made for untyin’. If you’re someone who happens to be working in challenging conditions, then you have probably previously wondered how to tie work boots properly and keep the laces tied (emphasis on the “properly“).
Because there’s truly nothing more annoying than having to deal with untied shoelaces in the middle of your work day. This little mishap can significantly ruin your mood, and it can also be very dangerous for your safety in the workplace.
When your laces get untied, your work boots become looser. They lose their snug fit, comfort, stability, and security. Which is something you don’t wish to sacrifice while working.
So, if you wish to learn how to tie your work boots, keep on reading!
So, how to tie work boots?
1. The standard criss-cross method
We are starting off with the most common and probably the easiest lacing method. This is the method most footwear manufacturers use when lacing and shipping their merchandise. It is a very simple method that gives a stylish and crisp look to any footwear while still being secure and comfortable.
All you have to do is take the shoelace and place it straight across the insides of your work boots. Then, pull each side through the first pair of the bottom eyelets, adjusting the laces to make sure they are equal in length.
Take the left side and bring it diagonally across pulling it through the right eyelet. Do the same with the right side of the shoelace, feeding it through the left eyelet. Continue doing this criss-cross motion until the lacing is complete, and you are all done.
Then, all that’s left to do is to tie the remaining laces in a knot of your choice. Most people go for the standard shoelace knot, also known as the “Bunny Rabbit,” but you can always have some fun and try something else, like the “Eastland knot” for example.
Always make sure to keep your shoelaces straight and lying flat on the tongue when using the criss-cross method.
Also, always pull the same side first. If you start with the left side of the shoelace, ensure that’s the side you always begin your next crossing with. Otherwise, your pattern won’t look as clean as it should be.
2. The good old over-under method
Next, we have another classic, the over-under method. This method is very similar to the criss-cross one in terms of that “X” pattern, but it has a little bit of spice in its rendition.
With this method, you’ll first have to count how many eyelets you have. If your work boots have an odd number of eyelet pairs, you’ll have to start on the inside of the eyestay (or the part that houses the eyelets) and work your way out through the first pair of bottom eyelets.
On the other hand, if your boots have an even pair of eyelets, you’ll have to start on the outside and work your way in through the eyelets. Then, with both sides of your shoelaces, all you’ll have to do is to alternate between crossing over and under.
Here’s what that means. Let’s say your boots have an even pair of eyelets. Start on the outside of the eyestay, pulling your shoelaces in through the first pair of eyelets. Then, Cross them on the inside and feed them under and out through the next pair of eyelets.
Then, cross them on the outside and feed them in through the next pair of eyelets. Continue doing so until you’re all done and all that’s left to do is tie a knot at the top.
Trust me, this is not one of those cases when you say, “It’s easier said than done!” It’s actually quite the opposite. I struggled to explain this way harder than I struggled with lacing my boots this method but hopefully, the picture will help you understand it better.
3. The heel-lock lacing method
(Credit: Strictly Pickleball)
The third method on our list is great for workers who wear their boots on uneven terrain and need a bit more heel support. It provides security, stability, and generally a more snug fit.
This is a pretty simple method, too. All you have to do is lace your shoes with a method of your choice (preferably one of the previous two since they are the most common ones), leaving the last two eyelets (i.e., the last pair) empty.
Then, take both sides of your shoelaces and feed them straight up and in through the last set of eyelets, creating two little loops. Cross over both laces and pull them through the opposite loops – so the left lace goes through the right loop, and vice versa.
Once you do that, pull the laces tight to “lock the heel,” tie the knot you want, and that’s it!
4. The 2-1-3- lacing method
This next method is a great option for any type of logger shoes or higher work boots that might be a little too tight for you and whose laces often irritate the front part of your ankle, causing “lace bites.” This method will reduce the pinching and make the overall wearing experience much more comfortable.
For the first three top and bottom eyelets (so, above, and below the ankle area), you’ll have to lace your shoelaces with the standard criss-cross method.
At the end of the third eyelet pair, cross the shoelaces on the inside the same way you will normally do with the criss-cross method, but this time skip the fourth pair of eyelets. This is “row 2” of this method.
Then, feed the shoelaces out through the eyelets, cross them on the outside, and feed them in through the previously skipped pair of eyelets (the fourth one). This is your “row 1.”
After that, cross your shoelaces on the inside under the created pattern and feed them out through the sixth pair of eyelets, obviously skipping the fifth pair since it is already taken. This is the final, “row 3” of this method.
Finally, finish the remaining eyelets with the criss-cross method, tie a knot of your choice, and you’re all done.
This is a perfect lacing method to try if you have wider feet or if your work boots are, as I said, a bit too narrow. You can pair this lacing method with some of our amazing boot stretching tips for optimal comfort and a snug fit.
5. The army lacing method
This next method is, as the name suggests, the method of choice for most military personnel. However, it can also be used when lacing work boots, especially those that happen to be too stiff and made out of tougher leather.
For this method, you will have to count your eyelet pairs again. If your work boots have an even number of eyelets, you are going to start on the inside and work your way out through the first bottom pair. If the number is odd, you will, of course, start outside and feed your shoelaces in through the eyelets.
Let’s say your work boots have an even number of eyelet pairs. Starting on the inside, feed your shoelaces out through the first pair of eyelets and then immediately pull them straight up and in through the next pair of eyelets above.
Then, cross them on the inside, feeding the left shoelace out through the right eyelet, and vice versa. You are going to alternate these moves until you reach the top of your boots, after which you’ll tie a knot and that’s it.
This method is great because it makes your work boots very flexible and is not restricting in any way.
6. The ladder lacing method
Finally, we have the ladder method. It is probably the most secure lacing method mentioned in this article, and it is also another one used by members of the military, specifically by U.S. paratroopers.
Once you master this method, you’ll have the safest and most secure work boots and won’t have to worry about your shoelaces getting untied.
Here’s how it’s done. Start on the inside, placing your shoelaces straight across and feeding them out through the first bottom pair of eyelets. Then, run your laces straight up and in through the next pair of eyelets.
Now, here’s where things get tricky. You’re going to take the left side of your shoelace and run it through the verticals on the right side. Think of it as pulling the lace through a little loop, but don’t let it be too loose. Then, do the same with the right shoelace and the left loop to form “the locks.”
And then repeat: feed the laces vertically through the higher set of eyelets, then cross them and feed them through the opposite loops. Do this all the way to the top of your boots, making sure to tighten each time to lock everything for that promised stability.
When you reach the top, the ends of your shoelaces can be fed through the loops one last time before you tie the knot and finish with this challenging, but fun method.